Saturday, October 15, 2016

Αt the time of the Great Depression


                                      
His favorite charities dealt with Greek war orphans of
the Second World War.                                                  
He was honored by both U.S.President Richard Nixon
and King Paul of Greece for his various philanthropic
efforts outside the ring.
                                                


Our ship was docked in Scarborough, Tobago.

"My Dear Son, you wrote to me that you will go to San Diego.
Do not neglect to visit your uncle John who lives nearby
and tell him that I hope to see him before I die...''

This was written in the letter that I received from my mother
in which she was referring to her expatriate younger brother.....







San Diego, California

           [is known for it's natural deep-water harbor...

Thirty miles northeast is Escondido where John lives, he is a barber....

Uncle John greeted me with great emotion
and told me that when he saw me, as if in slow motion,
his life flashed before his eyes......

Later, he took me on a tour of the city, ending with a surprise
He showed me a statue saying he is "The Golden Greek"....

It was Jim Londos, and if he were alive today and could speak,
he would tell you at the time of the Great Depression
his wrestling was able to boost the morale of our nation.
___________________________________________



*Extract from "The Broken Mooring Line", an experiential
poetic work //
page c63// e-mail: pmataragas@yahoo.com //

Texts and Narration: Odysseus Heavilayias - ROTTERDAM //
Language adjustments and text adaptation: Kellene G Safis - CHICAGO//
Digital adaptation and text editing: Cathy Rapakoulia Mataraga - PIRAEUS//

_______________________________________________________________



The New Yorker - Jim Londos a Greek professional wrestler who was one of the most popular stars who performed on the professional wrestling circuit during the Great Depression.



* Jim Londos was born Christos Theofilou in 1897 in Argos, Greece. As the youngest of thirteen children. At age thirteen he ran away from home and eventually ended up emigrating to the United States.
Working whenever he could, Theofilou took several odd jobs including cabin boy, construction jobs and posing nude for figure drawing classes.Theofilou landed a job as a catcher in a carnival acrobatic act. It was during this period that he was exposed to professional wrestling and began training.
Londos' first matches would be as "The Wrestling Plasterer" Christopher Theophelus, a gimmick that saw him coming to the ring in overalls. After a number of years he dropped this in favour of wrestling under the name Jim Londos and being a no nonsense wrestler.
To compensate for his lack of wrestling ability, Londos was well known for his good looks and his well muscled physique. He capitalized on this by having himself matched up against the ugliest opponents he could find.This promotional tactic worked very well and Londos became one of the most popular wrestlers in the 1930s and early 40's.
Considered to be a national hero in Greece, Londos once drew a crowd estimated to be made of nearly 100,000 fans to see one of his matches when he traveled there.




Londos retired in 1953 and would spend the remainder of his life working for charitable organizations. His favorite charities dealt with Greek war orphans of the Second World War. He was honored by both U.S. President Richard Nixon and King Paul of Greece for his various philanthropic efforts outside the ring.
Londos died of a heart attack August 19, 1975 and is buried at Oak Hill Memorial Park in Escondido, California.


* photo: Scarborough, Tobago, part of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago




  the tales of a greek sailor  

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